When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sang the Oscar-nominated, original song Shallow at the Oscars last night, it was arguably the highlight of the evening.  It went on to win the coveted award and in her acceptance speech, Lady Gaga (whose stage name was created after the Queen song Radio Ga Ga which is a funny twist of fate as the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was also up for multiple awards last night) said, “This is hard work. I’ve worked hard for a long time. It’s not about winning — what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion, and it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or get beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and keep going.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

Talent brings you to a certain point.  But embracing failure, having grit, being resilient and never giving up are the factors that turn dreams into reality.  This is the message I share at the talks I give in schools and corporations.  It’s not the falling but the getting up that is the game-changer.

We often look at those in Hollywood and think, “They are different from me.  They have connections.  They have money.  I couldn’t do what they are doing.”  And you shouldn’t do what someone else is doing.  You need to live your own dreams.  But you must remember that you are more alike than different from the successful people you see around you.  You have all you need to go from where you are to where you want to be.

Will it be easy?  No.  Will it be hard work?  Yes.  Will it be worth it?  If your definition of success is the right one for you and the ladder you are climbing is leaning up against the correct wall for your journey.

As Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sang, “I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in.  I’ll never meet the ground.  Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us.  We’re far from the shallow now.”

Jump right into the deep end and swim like your life depends on it.  Because it does.